Scientists report new genetic associations to four diseases in a large scale collaborative effort online in Nature Genetics. The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), together with The Australo-Anglo-American Spondylitis Consortium (TASC), identify new genetic associations to three autoimmune diseases -- Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), Autoimmune Thyroid Disease/Graves' Disease (AITD), and Multiple Sclerosis -- as well as Breast Cancer.
The study involved genome-wide association of protein-coding variants (known as non-synonymous SNPs) in 1000 independent cases of each of the four diseases, compared to a common control set of 1500 healthy individuals. The findings include a report of two new replicated genetic loci associated to AS. The strongest genetic associations were found in the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) region, previously known to be strongly associated with autoimmunity. The authors also provide confirmation of a number of previously reported associations for these diseases.
Lon R. Cardon (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA)
David M. Evans (University of Oxford, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, UK)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Genetics press release.
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